Skip to main content

Full text of "The Languages of the Coast of California North of San Francisco"

See other formats

280 University of California Puhlicattons in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 9 


The majority of noun and verb stems are disyllabic. Neither 
etymological duplication nor grammatical reduplication is con- 
spicuous. There seems to be little vocalic mutation. Position 
plays an unimportant part syntactically. There is apparently 
no prefix in the language, even preposed pronouns such as those 
of Yuki and Yokuts being lacking. Grammatical form is there- 
fore expressed almost wholly by suffixes. 


The plural of animate nouns is expressed by -k, sometimes -ko. 
Thus nafia-k, men, occa-k, women, ole'tcu-k, coyotes, tcummeto-k 
or tcummeto-ko, southerners. Numerals referring to animate 
nouns also take the ending: oyica-k tune-ko-nti, four daughter-s- 
my. It is also further found on miko, ye, from singular mi, and 
in the subjective and possessive suffixes of the same person, -tok 
and -inoko. It appears also on demonstrative and interrogative 
stems, as ne-kko-n, their, of these, and mana-ko-n, somebody's. 
The term gotcayakko, town, from gotca, house, evidently con- 
tains the suffix. Nouns ending in the diminutive -ti show some 
irregularity: nana-ti-koko, boys; uya-guta-k, old men, and 
ona-guta-k, old women, from uya-ti and ona-ti. 

Inanimate nouns lack indication of plurality. Efforts made 
to determine a modification in verbs according to plurality of 
either subject or object were fruitless. 


There are two purely syntactical cases, an objective -i and a 
possessive -fi, which have an extensive use. The objective is not 
only regularly employed on the object noun, animate or in- 
animate, but on numerals and verbs used objectively, as masi 
yinanakama tolokocu-i, we killed three, and gudjikcuangum 
muli-a-i, I do not wish to sing. It is also used on nouns con- 
nected with a prepositional adverb, as in lilamadoyi gotca-i, on 
top of the house. The ending may perhaps also be sought in 
umedj-i, yesterday, kauleba-i, tomorrow, and willa-i, constantly. 

The possessive case-suffix is used not only in the noun, but 

1913] Kroeher: Languages North of San Francisco, 281 

also in the independent pronoun and demonstrative: kannti-n, 
my, mi-nif-n, your, ne-cti-n, his, this one's, itci-n, our, mana-ko-n, 
somebody's. When two nouns are possessively related, the posses- 
sive pronoun as well as the possessive case may be, or is usually, 
employed: palaia-n hake-eu, close to the ocean, ocean's its edge; 
kannu-n sake-nti-fi ocea-cw, my my-friend's his-wife, the latter 
construction recalling Yokuts yiwin an limk-in, wife his prairie- 
falcon's. It will be seen that the possessive case-suffix is added 
both to the plural and the pronominal suffixes. The same is true 
of the objective: uye'ayi-ko-i, white men; sake-t, my friend, 
objective sake-nt-i. Added to a verb with attached subjective 
suffix, the possessive case renders it subordinate: utcux-ce-te-fi, 
when I had stayed, stay-did-I-when ; tolyok-cuke-te-n wnu-ce-nti, 
after listening I returned. Yokuts uses the locative case -u in 
exactly parallel constructions. The possessive is also frequently 
used on the noun or pronoun subject of a verb, apparently when 
this is in some way dependent: Kelsi-n unu-kuke-te-cv>, Kelsey 
his-bringing-me ; tolyok-cuke-nti hayapo-ko-n liwakcoko, I-heard 
captains' speaking; kannti-n tuyan-at, I jumped; itci-fi yulu-tcu 
umedji, we bit yesterday; sake-nti-fi huwata-cc>, my friend ran, 
my friend's running. Verbs with the potential suffix -uni also 
may have their subjects in the possessive: mina-ii tuyafi-uni-na, 
can you jump ; kannu-h tuyan-uni-t, I can jump. 

Like almost all languages of California, Miwok possesses 
locative and instrumental suffixes. Those determined by the 
author are a general locative -to, an ablative -mo, a terminalis -m, 
and an instrumental -su. The only other forms obtained are 
separate postposed words, such as unuk, from, iibuk, for, on 
account of, or preposed prepositional adverbs governing the noun 
in the objective case, like the above mentioned lilamadoyi, on 
top of. 

sawalo-to, on Saturday gotca-mma, from the house 

lelotu-to, on the railroad mokelumne-m, to Mokelumne 

isako-to, there sanhose-im, to San Jose 

ne-to, here no ^-m, there 

imaga-to, indoors sawa-m, on the rock 

min-to, where gudji-su. with a knife 

goteayakko-to, to town cawa-su, with a stone 

mokelumne-mo, from Mokelumne leka-su, with a stick, 

imaka-ma, from there 

282 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 9 

Dr. Tozzer found the following suffixes : 

-to, superessive -ko-ta, ko-ta, comitativej with 

-mo, ablative or at 

-m, -am, inessive -pa, terminalis 

-pa-zo, instrumental -ta, for 

It seems that the meaning of the suffixes is not precise, the 
locative being used to denote the ablative and terminative rela- 
tions and vice versa. 

Dr. Tozzer also gives a number of pronominal forms. These 
consist of the full form of the pronoun, followed by the case- 
ending, to which in turn a suffix form of the pronoun is added. 

kani-to-te, on me (I-on-my) ikazo-mo-ko, from him 

mi-ta-ni, for you mi-ko-ni, at you 

kani-am-te, in me itci-ko-me, with us 

It is not certain whether each of these expressions forms one or 
two words. Possibly kani to-te should be read for kani-to-te. 

The suffix ko-ta or ko-ta loses its second syllable -ta in these 
pronominal forms. 


The pronominal forms of Miwok have been most fully deter- 
mined by Dr. Tozzer, without w^hose full paradigms their nature 
would have remained obscure at many points. 

As in other American languages, the independent personal 
pronouns and the affixed pronominal elements, or as we might 
say, the pronouns and the inflections for person, are quite dis- 
tinct in Miwok. As in most languages that possess both classes 
of elements, the independent pronouns are used chiefly for 
emphasis, when they are actually tautological, or in elliptical 
and unsyntactical constructions. 

In some languages the longer independent words are clearly 
expansions of the affix or ** inflectional" forms, which must be 
regarded as primary. In other languages the affixed elements 
are probably reductions of the originally independent and 
separate pronouns. In Miwok the two classes of forms are evi- 
dently of unrelated origin. They show, at least in the singular, 
no similarity whatever. 

The independent pronouns, which are throughout treated and 
declined like nouns, are : 


Kroeber: Languages North of San Francisco, 





S 1 



S 2 




S 3 




P 1 

itci, maei 

itei-n, maci-n 

P 2 




P 3 


ikako -i 


The forms for the third person are demonstrative. 

While Dr. Tozzer gives maei, us, as the objective of itci, we, 
the difference between the two forms is apparently one of 
duality and plurality respectively, or possibly of inclusion and 
exclusion of the second person. 

The first person subjective together with the object of the 
second, is expressed by the enclitics mu-cu, I thee, and mu-tok-cu. 
I you. 

yina mueu', I kill you 
huwate-ne mucu', I make you run 
kuteikcu mutokcu, I like you 


The **infleetionar' forms, contrary to the prevailing tendency 
of American languages, are suffixed. 

Their most remarkable feature is that the subjective suffixes 
of the verb show three distinct forms, each used only with cer- 
tain modes and tenses. The three tense-forms of one person are 
often entirely dissimilar. One set of forms is employed only 
for the present and perfect tenses. Another is used with two 
preterite tenses. Still another, the most common, is used after 
all other temporal and modal suffiLses. This, called hereafter the 
first form, is perhaps primary, as the objective suffixes of the 
verb, and in part the possessive suffixes added to nouns, are 
almost identical. Several of the possessive suffixes, however, 
resemble the preterite subjective suffixes more closely. 


-t, -nti 

-t, -te 

Subjecti/ve 1 
Passive, etc, 
'tj -te 

Subjective 2 


Subjective S 
Present and 

-ma, -m 



-n, -ni 

-k, -ko, -wo 

-n, -ni 
-k, -ko, ā€” 




-teo, -ma (si) 
-moko, -miko 
-ko, -kofi 

-m, -me 
-tok, -tokni 
-ko, -k 

-me, -m 
-tok, -tokni 


-ted, -ma(T) 






284 University of California Publications in Am, ArcK and Ethn, [Vol. 9 

Contrasting with the independent pronoun, the suffixes almost 
throughout possess forms for the third person. 

When both subject and object are expressed in the verb, the 
objective suffix precedes. 

Examples of the possessive suffixes : 

ir'tca-t, my house 

'ā– <'ca-t, my wife 

) ;] r[;i t, my hair 

oyaji-im, your name 

auei-no, your son 

\ekii-su, his stick 

occa-cw, his wife 

hana-tcti, our hair 

gotca-moko, your house 

hana-kon, their hair, somebody's hair 

The possessive suffixes follow the plural ending; case-endings 
usually but not always follow the possessive suffixes, 
sake-nt-i, my friend (objective) 
sake-nti-fi, my friend's 
occa-i-nw, your wife (objective) 
tune-ko-t, my daughters 

The first or primary form of the subjective suffixes is em- 
ployed after the future suffix -i, the passive -si, the usitative 
-imi, the potential -uni, and at least certain combinations of past 
suffixes, such as -ke-ce or -kco, and -ce-k. 

The second form is either attached directly to the stem to 
express a recent past tense ; or it is added to the preterite suffixes 
-ce or -ke, which appear to indicate a more remote past. 

The third form, when immediate to the stem, indicates present 
time. It also follows the past suffix -naka, which Dr. Tozzer 
interprets as a perfect. 

First form of subjective suffixes: 
huwat-imi-t, I run constantly 
wokec-i-t, I shall go 
dobomi-n, you are crazy 
yulu-in a, will you bite? 
muli-i-tok a, will you singf 
muli-i-me, we shall sing 
yulu-yi-m, we shall bite 
hakaine-cakoco-t, I was hungry 
itci top-i-me, we shall hit 
itei a hakaine-cak-me, were we hungry? 
miko a hakaine-i-tokni, will ye be hungry? 

11] Kroebet: Languages North of San Francisco. 285 

haline-i-ko, they will be sick 
haline-imi-su-n, you used to be sick 
katce-ca-zo liwa-ni-ko, he said he would talk 
haline-i-tok ane, ye might be sick 
tokla-bosa-i-te, I shall hit myself 
itci osati ete-ksoi-m, we had a girl 
itci osati ete-ma-yi-m, we shall have a girl 
tcuku yak-te, or yako-zo-te, I had a dog 
tiwa-i-ko sumnenu-i, they will bring a hat (sombrero) 
^vontete-i-me, we shall sell (Sp. vender) 
owo-i-koj they will eat 
k.'uii mata-si-tej I am shot 
mini mata-si-yi-ni, you will be shot 
k;nii mata-si-z6-te, I was shot 
tokala-ai-zo-te^ I was hit 
tokala-si-te^ I am hit 
itei yiloa-si-me, we are bitten 
miko yiloa-si-zo-tokni, ye were bitten 
kalto-i-te, I shall dance 
hakaine-imi-so-te, I used to be hungry 
hakaine-pa owo-i-te, if I am hungry, I will eat 
masi hakaine-pa-k, owo-i-me, if we are hungry we will eat 
hakaine-nit ow6-ni-no, if you were hungry, you would eat 
noka-ni'zo, wokoc-i-te, if it rains (*'its raining'O^ I shall go 
Second form of subjective suffixes : 
huwata-nti, I ran 
hedea-no, did you see? 
yiina-nu, did you kill? 

yulu-teu, we bit 

yulu-ce-teo, we bit 

goyoka-te-no, you looked at me 

hiila-te-nu, you cut me 

yulu-te-co, he bit me 
ika-zo tope-zo, he hit 

miko tope-muko, ye hit 

tokla-te-zo, he hit me 

mini tokla-ni-z6, he hit you 

ika-zo-i tokla-ko-zo, he hit him 

masi nana etea-me-zo, the man saw us 

toloye-nti liwa-zo, I heard her talking 

moa-se-nti wona-zo, I met him walking 

moa-tokni-zfi wona-miiko, he met you walking 

moa-te-no wona-nti, you met me walking 

haline-so-tcOj we were sick 

tiwa-nti or tiwa-se-nti, I bought 

wcntete-no or wentete-ka-no, you sold 

mi owo-no, you ate 

owo-ted, we ate 

minii-n a haline-ke-no, were you sickf 

286 University of California Publications in Am, Arch, and EtJin, [Vol. 9 

haline-ke-tco a itei-n, were we sick? 

kalto-z6, he danced 

eteya-ko-nti, I saw him. 

muli-ni-no tuyana-ntij when you sang ("your singing"), I jumped 

moa-in-te mega wone-no, I will meet you walking 

kani ane topu-pa-nti, I think I was hit 

Third form of subjective mffixm : 
goyoku-m, I look 
hiila-mu, I cut 

hedeyi-m, I see 

wukeu-ma, I go 

huwate-ma, I run 

yina-naka-ma, I killed 

huwate-ti, let us run 

uhu-ti, let us drink 

min-to yina-naka-tok, where did ye kill? 

muli-saino-ma, I wish to sing 

muli-saino-ano-ma, I do not wish to sing 

hoyako-wo, he is laughing 

tokla-bosa-s, you hit yourself 

mi a hakaine-s, are you hungry? 

hakaine-ti, we are hungry 

ika-ko hakaine-pu, they are hungry 

mi tope-s teuku-i, you are hitting the dog 

kani a hakaine-naka-ma, have I been hungry? 

katco-wo haline-wo, he says he is sick 

haline-toksu, ye are sick 

ika-ko woko-saino-pu, they wish to go 

kani hoyak-saino-ma, I want to laugh 

muli-saino-wo, he wishes to sing 

tiwa-wo somnenu-i, he buys a hat 

tiwa-naka-pUj they bought 

wentete-ma pulaka-i, I am selling the basket 

dwd-8, you are eating 

mata-pu, they are killing 

mata-naka-wo, he killed 

kalto-pu, they are dancing 

eteya-te-wo, he sees me 

eteya-ni-ma, I see you 

kani ane topu-pa-ma, I think I am hit 
Examples of objective forms, additional to those already given : 
goyoka-ni-t, I saw you 
httla-ni-t, I cut you 
kutcikce-waco-ni-t, I did not like you 
goyoka-te-no, you look at me 
hwla-c-te-ko, he stabbed me 
wiku-te-cu, his taking me 
dobe-tit, tcupta-nto, throw it at me! 
goyoke-to, look at me! 

1911] Eroeher: Languages North of San Francisco. 287 


The ** inflection'* of the verb for person consists of the 
aaaiTion of the pronominal affixes just discussed. 

The following derivational, modal, and temporal elements, 
all suffixes, have been found : 

-ne, causative 

-ce, -kee, -caino, desiderative 

-imi, continuative 

-uni, -ani, potential 

-aiiu, -cewa, negative 

-bo, -bo-sa, reflexive 

-ce, -cu, -ke, -keo^ -cak, past 

-naka, past, perhaps perfect 

-i, future 

'Sij '^pa, passive 

Dr. Tozzer sometimes writes the potential or dubitative ani 
as a separatG particle bt::fore or after the verb. The subject of 
the verb in the potential usually has the possessive case-suffix. 

The order of suffixes is: derivative, modal, temporal. The 

desiderative and negative precede those that express mode and 

tense. The potential, the passive, and the usitative come before 

the preterite and future suffixes. Last of all in the verb are the 

objective and then the subjective designations of person. 

huwate-ne-i-t, I will make him run 

goyok-eu-m, I want to see 

mi* a tuina-kco, do you wish to jump? 

tuiiia-kce-anu-m, I do not wish to jump 

uhu-kca-fiu mi*, you do not wish to drink 

uhuk-imi, he drinks constantly 

tuyan-imi-t, I jump constantly 

yina-an-uni-t kannii-n, I cannot kill him 

tuyan-eewa-t, I do not jump 

kutci-kce-anu-m, I do not like him (good-wish-not-I) 

yina-ciwa-co-n, you did not kill it 

kaune-naka-ma, I shouted 

liwa-ni-no a, can you talk? 

howato-ni-ko a, can they run? 

woke-bo-sa-nti, I burned myself 

heka-bo, to wash one*s self 

sakizo-bo, to comb one's self 

288 University of California Publicatio7is in Am. ArcK and Ethn. [Vol. 9 

The suffix -ne, to be distinguished from causative -rie, has 

verbal force on adjective or intransitive stems. 

kutci-ne-ma, I am good 
hakai-ne-ma, T am hungry 
hali-ne-ma, I am sick 

The interrogative is indicated by the particle a. This is 
regularly the second word in the sentence; but far from being 
enclitic, usually carries the heaviest accent in the phrase. 
Instances occur among examples previously given. 

In certain verbs the stem in the future appears to end in a 
consonant, while in the past and present a final vowel appears. 
In some instances this is brought about by a shift of the second 
stem-vowel to a place after the final consonant. 

Present and Past Future 

wukcu- wokec-i 

kaune- kauin-i 

huwate- huwat-i 

tuyane- tuyan-i 

yila- yil-i 

tope- top-i 

eteya etey-i 

In Northern Sierra Miwok the verb is certainly as truly 
conjugated or inflected as in any Indo-European language. The 
existence of three forms of personal endings whose employment 
depends on ideas of tense, and the differentiation of all of these 
from the independent pronouns, make it impossible to describe 
the language as ''agglutinating." 


Verb stems are generally disyllabic, unless those so far 

determined should ultimately prove to contain affixes of motion, 

shape, direction, or instrument, of which possibility there is no 

present indication whatever. 

ame, give birth doklo, tokla, strike with fist, 

ameto, beg knock down 

dekma, tekme, kick duka, dt^ka, pierce 

depa, cut ete, etea, eteyo, hete, hideye, 

dobe, thro\T see, look at 

dobome, crazy etepo, lie on stomach 

Kroeher: Languages North of San Francisco. 


hakai, hungry 

hali, sick 

haye, touch 

heka, wash 

hefine, ask for 

hili, pinch 

hinuwo, gamble grass game 

hoge, bet 

hotse, hiccough 

hoya, laugh 

hukaye, smell 

hupa, roll 

huwa-epo, hasten 

huwa-te, run 

huya, start, leave, arrive 

huyaku, strike 

hiila, stab 

kalte, dance 

kata, shut 

kauin, kauue, shout 

kelpe, swallow 

kole-nak, cough 

kona, bark 

kope, open 

koyok, goyok, see, look 

kopa, pull 

kusu, sit with stretched leg 

kute, kuta, gute, push, knock 
with hand 

kuyage, whistle 
late, suck 

latci, chop (Spanish la hacha, 
the ax) 

lepa, bury 

liwa, talk 

lokta, sneeze 

lometa, fall 

lutsu, ascend 

mata, shoot, kill (Spanish 

moa, meet 

mole, spill 

motea, hide 

muli, moli, sing 

mulagu, wash face 

nawu, dress 

nepye, swallow 

nete, count 

nipito, sit with folded leg 

notco, notcu, cry, whine 

nuzu, mizu(?), undress 

okye, make basket 

oie, dig 

owo, eat, bite 

pakal, pay (Spanish pagar) 

petane, throw away 

pilapa, pinch 

puu, squat 

sakizo, comb 

sotcaya, shine 

sotceld, lie on side 

sutwa, break a string 

takya, hit with stick, whip 

taswa, break 

temanu, cross 

tiwa, buy 

tizoye, scratch 

toloye, hear 

totci, believe, wish 

tuka, spit , 

tupi, press 

tuyan, tuifia, jump 

tcamza, die 

tcime, climb 

tcunuza, slide 

tcupta, throw endwise 

uhu, drink 

uku, enter 

uktcu, dream 

unu, come, return 

utcu, stay 

weli, catch 

welza, hunt for 

wentete, sell (Spanish vender) 

wilano, steal 

wokee, wukuc, wokcu, go 

woke, burn 

wokle, swallow 

w^na, walk 

yana, sleep, lie on back 

yilo, yila, yulu, bite 

yina, yunu, kill 

yiya, shake 

yotki, hang 

yuhu, swing 

yutme, claw 


University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. ^ 


The stems corresponding to this and that are ne and no. Ne 
and no have been found, both as substantives and adjectives, 
only with the ending -i; as adverb, here, ne occurs with the 
ending -to, -kkato. Prom no is derived no'-m, there. The pos- 
sessive case of both stems is formed by the ending -cit-nā€” com- 
pare mi-ni^-fi, from mi, you. The possessive plural is ne-ko-u 
and no-kko-n. 

Another demonstrative stem denotive either of greater dis- 
tance than no, or of reference rather than position, appears 
to be i-. 

i^a-c-i naila-i, that man 
imaka-ma, there, from there 
isako-to, there 

To these forms are related Dr. Tozzer's ika-zo and ika-ko, 
usually given in translation for *'he" and *'they." '*He" also 
appears several times as igas or iga. 

The interrogatives are mana, who, ti'nii, what, mini, where, 
mitan, when. Min-to is used for mini when the sentence contains 
a verb. Somebody's is mana-ko-n, somewhere mini-mta. How 
large, is miniwitci; how, is mitciksu, 


The numerals, when accompanying animate nouns, take the 
plural suffix: oyiea-k. They also receive ease suffixes: tolokocu-i. 
They also enter into composition: toloko-ma-i, oyica-ma-i, three 
times, four days; toloko'-me, we three, three persons. *'Each'' 
is -ameiii : otiko-ameni, two each. 

Dependent clauses have been mentioned as being indicated 
by the possessive ease-suffix. Either this is added to the subject, 
the verb receiving a possessive instead of a subjective pro- 
nominal ending, so that the construction is really nomiiml- 
possessive; or, to express a temporal clause, the ease-suffix is 
added to the verb, pronominal ending and all. 

mina-n yulu-no, (I saw) your your-biting 

sake-nti-u huwata-eo, my friend ran, literaUy, my friend's running 

tolyok-cu-ke te-fi^ after I had Hstenedj literally, of my listenint^ 


Eroeher: Languages North of San Francisco. 



The order of words in the sentence is not rigid. The verb 
sometimes is first, sometimes last. Local modifier and object 
both precede and follow the verb. Connective words have not 
been observed. 


hoya-na-ke-nti stedji-to tcume-nti 

I started. On the stage I rode. 

huya-ke-nti mokelnmne-mo wukue-it 

I arrived. From Mokelumne Hill I went 

wolucprinu-mo tcume-nti lelotu-to 

From Valley Spring I rode on the railroad. 

sanhose-im wolucpriiiu-mo sanhose-mo 

at San Jose from Valley Spring. From San Jose 

Kelsi-ii tcummatc wukucu imaka-ma 

Mr. Kelsey's south went. From there 

wiikuc-e-nti imaka-ma huya-yi-ke-nti 

1 went. From there I went 

tolokoeu oyisa-i tanalo-i uke-nti 

three four tunnels I went through 

maunthomon-mo toloko-mai utcu-se-nti 

at Mt. Hermon. Three days I stayed. 

toly ok-cu-ke-nt i hayapo-ko-n li wa-kco-ko toly ok-cu-ke-te-n 

I listened chiefs' their speaking. After listening 

wnu-ce-nti sanhose-m htiya-ke-nti Kelsi-ii unu-ku-ke-te-co 

I returned. At San Jose I arrived Mr. Kelsey's his bringing me 

sanfransisko-mo imaka-ma toloko-mai oyica-mai utcux-se-nti 


On Saturday 


To Mokelumne Hill 


to Valley Spring. 


I arrived 


his taking me 

polaia-n hake-cit 

ocean's its close 


to Mt, Hermon 

hnya-ke-t isako-to 

I arrived there 

to San Francisco. There 

three days 

four days 

I stayed. 

heteyi-yi-ke-nti coke-i 

I saw anything, 






I saw, 








I saw, 




I saw. 


I went 

hisu-m toloko-mai 

east three days 


after staying 


at chief 

ututi kotea-i 

large house.